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Last week, UrbanTurf asked me and a handful of others who make it their business to have opinions about such things where they thought could be the next [insert-your-emerging-neighborhood-of-choice-here]. I went with the counterintuitive Mt. Pleasant, choosing to believe in the power of an existing community underserved by its nearest commercial strip. For the record, though, I also chose Historic Anacostia—or, more specifically, the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Good Hope Road SE—which has a ton of exciting stuff going on, from Big Chair Coffee to Uniontown Bar and Grill to the little galleries springing up left and right.
Does it feel slightly imperialistic to point out the next site for rampant gentrification? Yes. My stomach turned a little. But I think it’s also fair to contend that interest from newcomers paired with aggressive preservation of affordable housing and retail options can make for a diverse, vibrant neighborhood.
Which is why I must respectfully disagree with the eminences who chose places like Rosslyn and the Southeast Waterfront as highly desirable places to live, at least in the next five years. It’ll take a long time before these overbuilt, inorganic urban wastelands feel like real communities to the degree of some of the other choices, like Brookland and Truxton Circle. But cities are fickle things—it’s quite possible that come 2015, I’ll be proven all wrong.